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2,232 of 2,371 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fiendishly clever mystery novel
In the first few pages of Gillian Flynn's new novel Gone Girl, I was thinking, "This is it -- one of those rare novels that's unique and totally engrossing, cleverly plotted so that each new development has me astounded and eager to find out what happens next." Then the story continued as Midwestern husband Nick began to deal with his wife Amy's sudden disappearance and...
Published on May 8, 2012 by William Merrill

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587 of 660 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great start, disappointing end
I was totally engrossed in this book in the beginning. I liked the way the story was told from both Amy and Nick's perspectives; it made it difficult to know what was really going on because I wasn't sure who to believe. In Part 2 several surprises are revealed that make the story even more engaging...until it isn't. Towards the end of Part 2 the twists and turns stopped...
Published on June 11, 2012 by J. Johnson


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2,232 of 2,371 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fiendishly clever mystery novel, May 8, 2012
This review is from: Gone Girl (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
In the first few pages of Gillian Flynn's new novel Gone Girl, I was thinking, "This is it -- one of those rare novels that's unique and totally engrossing, cleverly plotted so that each new development has me astounded and eager to find out what happens next." Then the story continued as Midwestern husband Nick began to deal with his wife Amy's sudden disappearance and some gradually revealed details that might cast doubt on his own innocence in the matter. During that time, the book dropped down from the level of extraordinary to merely somewhat intriguing. However, once I reached Part Two of Gone Girl ("Boy Meets Girl"), it was like Ms Flynn kicked it up a notch, and the book became amazing again. Without giving any spoilers, Part Two unveils some major plot twists that cast Amy's status in an entirely new light. From that point on, the story moves along in powder keg fashion: the fuse has been lit, and it's only a question of how long 'til the explosion, and how much damage will be done when it happens. Flynn has a distinctive writing style that really involved me in what was going on with her two main characters. I had previously purchased but not yet read her Dark Places (after several recommendations). Now I will have to read it, and also get her first book, Sharp Objects. Only one warning, though: Gone Girl contains a fair amount of foul language. This was not a problem for me, but it might be for some readers.
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363 of 401 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read - apart from the ending, August 25, 2013
This review is from: Gone Girl (Kindle Edition)
Amy and Nick are married for five years, but there is not much harmony left. All of a sudden, Amy is missing. And from there, a more and more surprising and devious plot develops, cleverly and elegantly put together by a very talented writer.

It is difficult to talk about the plot without risking spoilers. So let's say this: It is not a conventional thriller. There are twists and totally surprising developments, we are getting manipulated and are lied to by both protagonists. It's not only a thriller, the book is also about unconventional truths about love and marriage. Sadly, the ending is a disappointment. Best not to expect too much from it and just enjoy the reading of the novel as such.

The book is always straightforward and readable, but maybe there are a few digressions too many. I can't help but feeling that nowadays thriller writers feel the need to expand their books to 600 pages when 400 would have done just as well. That's stupid, because it automatically weakens the suspense.

Gillian Flynn really deconstructed love and marriage here a lot, so I have a suggestion for readers who would like to read a (shorter) crime novel which is thrilling, full of dark humor and lets you believe in love again: Heads Off (A Lisa Becker Mystery).
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587 of 660 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great start, disappointing end, June 11, 2012
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This review is from: Gone Girl (Hardcover)
I was totally engrossed in this book in the beginning. I liked the way the story was told from both Amy and Nick's perspectives; it made it difficult to know what was really going on because I wasn't sure who to believe. In Part 2 several surprises are revealed that make the story even more engaging...until it isn't. Towards the end of Part 2 the twists and turns stopped being intriguing and just seemed over the top. The characters stopped being flawed and interesting and instead just seemed incredibly unlikeable. And the ending is just terrible. I cannot stress enough how much I hated the ending. I have never read a book before that took me from not being able to put it down to wanting to punch someone in the face out of frustration. So my advice is this: if you really want to read this book, check it out at the library. Don't do what I did and pay the Kindle price!
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616 of 716 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Irresistible Slow Burn, April 8, 2012
This review is from: Gone Girl (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Marguerite Yourcenar wrote long ago that "the mask, given time, comes to be the face itself." This can work for good or bad, but the more hideous the secrets, the more carefully that mask is constructed. So what if you discovered after five years of marriage that you'd only seen the mask, and never the real face of your spouse? Once those dark truths were revealed, could you stay married to that person?

Knowledge is power, and never more so than in an intimate relationship.
What if your spouse knew you so well that they could anticipate your behavior in any circumstance, and thereby manipulate you without your realizing it?

Gillian Flynn takes the common marital concerns about money, in-laws, and parenthood, and turns them into toxic waste in the case of Nick and Amy Dunne. Amy is revealed through her diaries, and Nick narrates his experiences as he follows the clues in the anniversary treasure hunt laid out by his wife before she disappeared. Did Nick kill Amy? A lot of people think so, but her body hasn't been found. Is Amy still alive? What was lurking beneath the surface of their marriage?

GONE GIRL is a thriller, but it's a slow burn. Flynn strings you along. She doles out just enough information to make you think you've figured things out before she hits you with another "GOTCHA!" revelation that changes everything. And she saves the biggest gotcha of all for the end, which is shocking in its subtlety. The way the story ends puts the final seal on what a truly sick relationship Nick and Amy had.
The path is twisted, disturbing, and sometimes horrifying. It's also irresistible.
Sensitive readers should proceed with caution. The book does contain coarse language as well as some violence and sexual content.
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801 of 954 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars When a Perfect Marriage Turns Sour, June 6, 2012
This review is from: Gone Girl (Hardcover)
A beautiful woman is snared by a young man who can't believe his good fortune. She is well off and adores him. What can be better? Both are writers living in New York but they lose their jobs. In addition, the woman's parents become financially bereft and ask their daughter to borrow her money. Poor, they use the last of her money to buy a bar in his hometown which is run by her husband and his twin sister.

Amy Elliott Dunne has another side to her personality that Nick Dunne is about to discover as the ideal marriage that he thought he had begins to fall apart. When Amy disappears Nick is believed to be the cause of her disappearance.

Did he murder his beloved wife? Nick knows he didn't but all signs point to that conclusion. The police believe he is responsible for her absence. Her parents, who stand by him in the beginning, arrive at the same belief. The public and the media are likewise convinced. He wonders if even his twin sister believes it as well. Before the reader discovers the truth, the reader becomes wrapped up in endless detail.

This is a thriller that does keep one turning the pages but it roars to a pallid conclusion. I liked it but thought that someone should have spent more time editing as details are presented again and again. I know many others will like this read but I was disappointed.
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462 of 549 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The ending is a disappointment, June 24, 2012
This review is from: Gone Girl (Hardcover)
I kept reading through all the drawn-out, detailed story for the sole purpose of seeing how justice is dealt. The ending is simply ridiculous because it does not match anything that the story leads up to. This poorly thought-out ending ruined anything I did like about this book.
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843 of 1,006 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a "trust me and read it" book!, May 16, 2012
By 
K. Cade (St Petersburg, FL) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Gone Girl (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
STOP reading reviews...get this, read it....don't ruin it for yourself by reading too much about it. Here's what you do need to know...if you can answer yes to any of these...then read it.

1. love good writing?
2. love characters that are real?
3. love realistic suspense whereby you do not have to suspend disbelief to buy the story/plot line?
4. ever been confused by your spouse or significant other?

SOLD

Read it!! I've read this author's prior two novels and they were good. This is fantastic! Start with this one if you are new to Ms. Flynn.
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492 of 586 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars worst ending ever, June 20, 2012
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This review is from: Gone Girl (Hardcover)
I don't like spoilers in reviews so won't include one here, but the ending of this book is so bad I can't believe it was ever published. I had mixed feelings about the book -- somewhat clever, somewhat annoying -- but I stuck with it thinking the author would find a great way to wind it up. Instead we get . . . you've got to be kidding me.
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94 of 109 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Other Great Things about this Book, June 16, 2012
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This review is from: Gone Girl (Hardcover)
I loved this book. I will try not to repeat the same accolades from the other reviews: great characters, character-driven plot, clever use of point of view, the fun of unreliable narrators and unexpected twists.

I have other aspects to praise:

First, I want to rave about the language. The main-characters' voices are wonderfully vivid. The language is witty, figurative, and just plain fun. Flynn takes bad characters, and uses their "badness" to riff on the sounds of words, slang, funny and witty dialogue and wonderful figures of speech. The speech, like most well-written dialogue and first-person narration, distills (but does not mirror) real life, heightens it. The narration pulls us into the character's point of view.

This book is a great surprise. I have started so many books where the writer proves they are not up to the job. For example, I started one suspense novel where a character felt afraid and the author wrote, "like a knife cutting into the back of his throat." Then 20 pages later another character got frightened and the author wrote, "like a knife cutting..." Finally, thirty pages later, another character got frightened and the author wrote the same simile. I closed the book and never read the author again.

Many genre books (and a lot of literary books) are badly written (self-consciously, pretentiously, or just plain stupidly). At least 3/4 of all best sellers seem created in the "produce lots of books, amp up the violent conflict, make lots of money" mode. Or else the writers can't write and their reader's don't know the difference. Give them bread, circuses and fictional gun battles. "Gone Girl" is leagues beyond most genre (and literary) novels. I could not find any negative style examples from Gone Girl, and about 1,000 positive examples. No words are waisted in this book.

The second point I want to mention is about the unusual ending. (I'm trying not to give anything away.) This type of ending is considered anathema in a number of how-to writing courses. In those courses, the characters are supposed to be sympathetic and triumph, or supposed to be evil and get severely punished. Throughout this novel, the characters do not pull the reader in by being sympathetic (the reader is pulled in by great writing, great story and fascinating characters, not an outpouring of sympathy), or let the readers rejoice when their evil brings stern justice. Good! It's a type of ending that Hitchcock wanted to direct, but it was forbidden (popular-taste-wise) in his time. Could we really be more sophisticated?

Third point: The characters are so vivid that we can see our own foibles, egotism and insecurity in them, even when they are loathsome. This character development is a real accomplishment. The vivid characterization is what pulls us in, with some empathy, but not much sympathy.

The popularity of this book gives me faith in readers. Maybe we are actually getting smarter (collectively). I hope that this sophisticated novel flies to the top of the best seller list, that we all read it, and that we start demanding books of this quality (in genre and literary fiction).
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346 of 412 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars That book... brilliant. That ending... vile., June 23, 2012
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This review is from: Gone Girl (Hardcover)
Wow. Just finished the last page. As obviously brilliant and insightful as the author is about the mind of men and women, SURELY she could have come up with a twist in the end to not leave you feeling like you need a shower to wash it off of you. And I don't mean that in a good way.
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Gone Girl: A Novel
Gone Girl: A Novel by Gillian Flynn (Paperback - April 22, 2014)
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